The BAFTA win is the crowning glory in a string of awards for the documentary having already won more than 40 prizes in film festivals around the world over the last 12 months. The Act of Killing has also been nominated for an Oscar for best documentary feature at the 86th Academy Awards in two weeks’ time.
The Act of Killing explores the behaviour of perpetrators of the Indonesian genocide in 1965-66. It depicts a group of unrepentant former members of Indonesian death squads being challenged to re-enact some of their many murders in the style of the American movies they love. The film focuses particularly on one individual, Anwar Congo, whose initial enthusiasm for the re-enactments slowly gives way to outward expressions of unease and remorse.
Professor Joram ten Brink, executive producer of the documentary and professor of Film at the University of Westminster, said: “This award comes at the end of an over five year research project at the University of Westminster, supported by the Arts and Humanities Council (AHRC), in which we tried to develop an innovative form of film making, but more importantly, to shed light on an unknown genocide in Indonesia fifty years ago. The success of the film in the UK over the last year, culminating with the BAFTA award win, is testament to the work in moving image research undertaken at the University of Westminster.”
The University of Westminster has strong links with the film industry and previous alumnus and film director Asif Kapadia won two BAFTA awards for the film Senna in 2012.
Professor Joram ten Brink and Joshua Oppenheimer are directors of the International Centre for Documentary and Experimental Film, part of the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media at the University of Westminster and one of the UKs leading centres for research in visual and media arts.
The University of Westminster is currently working on the restoration and redevelopment of the historic Regent Street Cinema, the birthplace of British cinema which hosted the Lumière brothers’ moving picture show in 1896, the first public cinema performance to a paying audience in the UK. Find out more about the details on the project and fundraising campaign.
For further information and to speak to Prof Joram ten Brink, please contact:
Sarah Evans-Toyne, Lianne Robinson or Chiara Barreca
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +44(0) 20 7726 6111